The NPD Group released its May 2018 report for online and retail sales for new physical video game products, as well as a subset of full-game digital downloads from participating publishers in NPD’s digital panel. It is not intended to cover total market/total consumer spend.
May 2018 spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories, and Game Cards grew 13 percent when compared to a year ago, to $685 million. Growth in Hardware and Accessories & Game Cards offset a slight decline in Software.
Year-to-date spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories, and Game Cards was up 15 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, to $4.9 billion. Growth occurred across all categories of spending.
The combined reach of dollar sales of Console, Portable, and PC Games Software reached $274 million in May 2018, down 4 percent compared to a year ago.
Year to date, software spending is up 7 percent versus year ago, to $2.2 billion, with Far Cry 5, God of War, and Monster Hunter: World as the year’s best-selling titles. State of Decay 2 was May’s best-selling game, as launch month sales nearly doubled that of the previous entry in the franchise, State of Decay. God of War was May’s second best-selling title, and now ranks in the same position in year to date sales, trailing only Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5.
Nintendo Switch software sales in May generated growth of 90 percent when compared to a year ago, delivering the highest software revenues for any Nintendo platform in May since the Nintendo Wii in May 2011. The NPD Group does not currently track digital sales on Nintendo platforms.
Sony was May’s top-selling software publisher, driven by God of War and Detroit: Become Human. Ubisoft remains the top revenue generating publisher year to date, while Activision Blizzard holds the lead revenue position during the 12-month period ending May.
Hardware spending in May grew to 26 percent when compared to a year ago, to $186 million. Increases in Xbox One and PlayStation 4 spending drove overall growth.
For the 2018 year-to-date period, hardware spending has increased 15 percent to $1.3 billion. Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Plug N Play devices, such as the SNES Classic, have driven growth.
Hardware unit sales in May reached the highest total for a May since May 2011, while May 2018 dollar sales reached the highest May total since May 2014.
Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft’s Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch all achieved all-time unit sales highs for a May month. PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console hardware platform in May, and remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date. The Nintendo Switch 32GB w/Neon Red/Blue JoyCon was the month’s best-selling hardware SKU in both unit and dollar sales.
ACCESSORIES & GAME CARDS
Total spending on Accessories and Game Cards grew to 30 percent in May when compared to a year ago, to $225 million. This represents a record high.
Year to date, Accessories and Game Card spending grew 29 percent when compared to a year ago, to $1.4 billion. Game Card spending reached an all-time high, while Accessory spending has reached the highest year to date total since 2011.
Year-to-date sales of both Headsets and Gamepads have achieved all-time record highs. The previous year-to-date high spending for Headsets occurred in 2011, and for Gamepads 2016.
Sales of Headsets/Headphones more than doubled in May when compared to a year ago. Year to date, Headsets/Headphones spending increased 83 percent. The Xbox One Ear Force Recon 50x Gaming Headset from Turtle Beach was the best-selling Headset/Headphone in May, while the company’s Xbox One Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Headset is the best-selling Headset/Headphone for 2018 year to date.
Gamepad spending grew 16 percent in May versus a year ago, with year to date spending growth of 22 percent. The PS4 DualShock 4 Wireless Controller Black is the best-selling Gamepad in both May and 2018 year to date.